Avoid these purchases if you want some extra cash in your wallet.
10. A New Car
Did you know that a new car will depreciate as soon as you drive it off the lot? Yep, it’s true! So, it makes sense then to skip the new car purchase and go for a gently used model instead. Cheapism.com recommends looking for used cars that have been on the market for a year or more as they are typically priced much lower. Beware, though: car dealerships can mark up car prices as they please. So even if the offer sounds really good, you could actually be paying hundreds in dealer fees and expenses. That being said, it may be best to avoid buying a used car from a dealership and, instead, buy one from someone who may have one for sale on their front lawn. Just make sure to test it out first before handing over any cash.
9. An Expensive Wedding Gown
We understand that your wedding day is important. And, as a result, you want to go all out. But, you should remember that you have expenses to pay after your wedding. It would be wise, then, not to spend your entire life savings — or even half of it — on just that one day. That being said, it might be a good idea to consider buying or renting a used wedding gown. You can, “shop sample sales and secondhand shops for designer dresses at a fraction of their original retail price,” Anne Chertoff, trend expert for WeddingWire.com, told GOBankingRates. There are even certain stores that specialize in used gowns.
If designer dresses are your thing, you can rent one for at least 50 percent off the retail price at sites such as BorrowingMagnolia.com and RenttheRunway.com. You can even rent accessories like jewelry and handbags, too, from sites such as HappilyEverBorrowed.com.
8. A Big House
The tiny house movement isn’t just some trend. It’s become a way of life for many people — people who learned the hard way that bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s just usually more expensive. So, unless you’re the Octomom or someone like that, you probably don’t need a big house. You don’t necessarily need to jump on the tiny house bandwagon either. Just make sure you get something that’s just the right size for your family AND your budget.
7. Bottled Water
Referred to by some as the biggest scam known to man, bottled water is one of the most ingenious marketing ideas in the history of the world. But, if there’s nothing wrong with the tap water at your home, you’re wasting your money. Beverage companies, however, have somehow convinced us that bottled water is safer than tap water. But, according to The Motley Fool, your tap water is far more likely to be, “strictly and stringently regulated by the authorities” than bottled water. And, it’s much cheaper, too. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “bottled water can cost thousands of times more than tap water.” Not only that, but that bottled water you’re buying just might be tap water that’s been purified. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), “many bottled water companies use public water sources for their products.”
6. Artisanal Liquor
Did you know that those “craft” or “small-batch” distilled whiskeys, vodkas, bourbons and gins you love so much might actually come from a huge factory that’s not even located anywhere near their purported bases? Yep, it’s true. According to The Daily Beast, some small companies even go so far as to purchase mass-produce liquor, bottle it, and claim they distilled it themselves. Take our advice and skip the fancy stuff. There are cheaper options out there that are still high quality.
You can save yourself a few bucks by borrowing books from the library instead of purchasing them from the store — unless of course, it’s one you really want to add to your collection. Still, it’d be better to borrow it from the library first to decide if it’s even worth purchasing.
If eBooks are your thing, you can save money on those, too, by borrowing them from your local public library, anytime, anywhere, using websites like OverDrive.com. And, if you’re a college student, consider renting your textbooks instead of buying them.
4. Manicures and Pedicures
Being pampered is fun. It’s also expensive — especially if you do it on a regular basis. And while facials and massages are nice, and may sometimes even be necessary, especially when you’re under a great deal of stress, manicures and pedicures are not necessities. In fact, it’s not even necessary to get them professionally done. All you need to do a purchase a nail kit and give yourself a mani-pedi at home. And, who knows? If you perfect your skills, you just might end up having others pay you for a mani-pedi!
3. Premium Gasoline
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you don’t need to spend the extra money on premium gasoline unless it’s recommended by your owner’s manual. That’s because in most cases premium gasoline doesn’t offer any benefit. It only helps if your engine is “knocking.”
Not only is there no benefit to premium gas, but it can also cost 15 to 20 cents per gallon more than regular gas. “That can add up to $100 or more a year in extra costs,” the FTC wrote on its website. And, “studies indicate that altogether, drivers may be spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year for higher octane gas than they need.”
2. Carbonated Beverages
If you love carbonated beverages, you might want to trade in your weekly beverage purchase for a SodaStream machine instead. Yes, it’ll cost you more upfront (it’s about $100 on Amazon), but it’ll save you tons of money in the long run. And, with a SodaStream machine, you can choose how many bubbles you’d like. Plus, it’s healthier than anything you can buy off the grocery store shelves. Not only that but they’re also better for the environment because they help reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles lying around.
1. A Popcorn Popper
If you’ve heard about the dangers of store-bought microwave popcorn due to toxin in the bag’s lining and chemical additives, then you probably feel you may need to invest in a popcorn popper. But, the truth of the matter is that it isn’t necessary. You can actually make your own microwave popcorn at home using a brown paper lunch bag. Cheapism.com explains how to do it on its website:
“Make your own on the stovetop with plain kernels and oil or place kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, roll the top shut, and microwave for simple and healthful popped corn.”